Bully Series: From The Perspective of the Teacher

Hello, and welcome to our next installment in our Bully Series here on Houseful of Nicholes. Today we are joined by another guest blogger of sorts. This actually was delivered to my inbox by an old friend of mine who wants to stay private for reasons that you will understand in a moment. Here they looks at the life of the bully, and they ask if there is anything that we should be doing for them as well. Please welcome them!

I also just read your blog about bullying and wanted to share a sad story from school this year, but never have liked posting on blogs and such. Anyways…

I was also bullied on and off and alienated from groups throughout grade school (mostly in grades 5-8) and never really “fit in”. It was terrible and I would never want to relive those years. Many people say “high school years are the best of your life!” I hated this saying and hoped and prayed HARD that this was NOT true. I could not imagine going through the rest of life WORSE that this. Fortunately, I stayed to myself and a few close friends and “flew under the radar” for the most part. I discovered life does change and in fact “gets better.” I can not imagine being targeted like you were. Bullying makes me so angry and sad when I hear about things like you shared.

Until recently I had only looked at bullying from that perspective.

As you know I am a teacher. I work at one of the smallest districts in my state (maybe the smallest). We have 70 some kids in the elementary and around 130 Pre-K through 12. This makes our school very unique and more like a close knit community or family. We have very few issues with bullying in the elementary, but they still do occur. I can name 1 maybe 2 kids that would be considered bullies in the elementary. I don’t have a whole lot of contact with the HS, but they have few issues as well.

As this bullying movement and zero tolerance has come to the forefront a few years ago, we have held programs and such about the subject and self-esteem; trying to curb any possible future problems or current ones.

This year the student council decided to use a workshop approach and has been developing some additional progamming, service learning, and such in conjunction with county agencies and counselors. They have been having breakout sessions and meeting in small groups. I wasn’t involed so I don’t know many of those details, but the focus was on team building and anti-bullying.

One day they had set up workshops with speakers and sharing sessions. Students were sharing experiences where they have been treated in unkind ways or had felt bullied, without mentioning names. Many of the occurances happened to be brought on by the same individual and possibly his small group of close friends. This student had moved into the school a few years ago from a much larger school.

The sessions ended before lunch period and this student went home for lunch. He lived in town. He never returned for afternoon classes. He was found dead in his home that afternoon. He had committed suicide. As always, his death has had far-reaching consequences including feelings of guilt by students who had opened up and shared, members of the student council and teacher who organized the activities. No one could have predicted or forseen this horrific event, but nevertheless it occured.

I fully understand that him being a bully to others was not the only issue he was dealing with. I really don’t know what other issues he was dealing with.

The point of my whole story is we also need to understand why bullies feel they need to enact that power over someone else. What is going on in their lives? In schools and life in general, we need to look at and address both the bullies and the bullied. Until issues are solved on both sides, the problem will not be solved.

The most important thing is for families to have those open lines of communication and have that convertsation you mentioned. Many bullies do what they do because of the same feelings they are making others go through. The family conversations and cohesion seems to be missing where many problems exhist.

I commend you for encouraging families to take a serious look at this and address it within their families. Many times I think parents don’t want to talk about the harder to discuss issues or are not aware of what their children are going through.

I hope I didn’t ramble on too much, but I just wanted to share this with you.

Thank you!

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